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Thread: Suggest a place that can make some developing tubes

  1. #1

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    Suggest a place that can make some developing tubes

    In advance, yes, I know this is ridiculous etc. Now that that’s over with...

    I’d like to try a variation on tubes-rolling-in-trays processing. Part of this involves a simple tube design I’ve thought about for a long time - picture a regular open tube but slightly barrel shaped (bowed out) instead of straight.

    Since this would not be a daylight process (I don’t care if I’m in the dark), I’ve thought of a few ways of making (more like cobbling together) these myself. However that limits me in a few ways, including materials, so I’m wondering if I can outsource it.

    Can anybody recommend a good machine/fabrication shop that could make something like this, either out of a plastic, or perhaps stainless? I have a few places so far, but really I have zero experience with this sort of thing.

    Thanks

  2. #2

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    Re: Suggest a place that can make some developing tubes

    Might you be willing to DIY the tubes? If both ends are open you could simply heat Plexiglass tubing in an oven to about 160 degrees Celsius and then apply gentle pressure to deform the tube. This would give you an oval tube-is that what you are looking for?
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  3. #3
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    Re: Suggest a place that can make some developing tubes

    What sort of sized tube?

    Need more details...

  4. #4

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    Re: Suggest a place that can make some developing tubes

    Richard - No I’d like them to be round all the way through. I’ve thought of a few ways of DYI-ing. We’ll see.

    seall - These would be for 4x5 sheet film, so basically 5” in length. I haven’t decided exactly on the diameter but figure somewhere between 2” and 3” at each end, maybe 1/2” bigger in the middle.

    Edit: I'm attaching two rough lengthwise sketches. The one with the curve is what I'd like, but there are potentially a few workarounds which might be more simple (see second attachment for example - a straight tube with a chopped off cone on each end).

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Michael R; 19-Nov-2020 at 19:12. Reason: Attachments

  5. #5
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    Re: Suggest a place that can make some developing tubes

    FWIW, in his Beyond the Zone System book, Phil Davis included an appendix with simple instructions on making tubes and caps from ABS or PVC plumbing pipe.

    EDIT: OK, my bad. The barrel/cone thing hadn't sunk in.

    I'll second the question: what would you like to accomplish with this? Maybe there are different ways of getting there.
    Last edited by Oren Grad; 19-Nov-2020 at 21:21.

  6. #6

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    Re: Suggest a place that can make some developing tubes

    Very curious to know why the tubes need to be barrel shaped?

  7. #7
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    Re: Suggest a place that can make some developing tubes

    Michael,

    It is not a difficuilt object to produce using something like Nylon 66 or Derlin but the material alone would cost upwards of 5-10 each if cutting from solid stock rod for 5x2", then there is the machining fee which would be a different level of cost altogether if it is just for a few items. Expensive if you want it made by CNC, cutting from thick walled tube would not reduce the overall price that much due to the high cost of automated cutting a few items. It may be a bit cheaper to get it done manually but time is money.

    You could buy the material and find someone with a reasonable spec metalwork lathe to make the items and pay them by the hour, you may need longer bits of material though depending upon how the person doing this wanted to cut them.

    Making it out of stainless is not a problem but you will likely find it to be a bit too expensive, unless you have a specific reason to use such a material. If you do want to use such a material you have different grades to choose from, you can even get it it with a certificate if you need such stuff - and have the money.

    Any good machine shop will be able to advise you on making it and should be happy enough to speak to you about it but do take along a drawing with a 1. Front Elevation, 2 Side Elevation and 3. Plan with some part of the drawing showing a cross-section of the item along with any radius and taper sizes and the material you want it made out of. Then you can talk to them and your plan will be ammended there and then if needed. This makes it easier for them to give you a quote and you leave knowing a whole lot more even if you have decided not go get it made.

    I would go with what Oren suggested then spend the extra money on film, that's if I didn't use the Jobo 2509n spirals which I have never had a problem with.
    Last edited by seall; 19-Nov-2020 at 21:48. Reason: Spelling

  8. #8

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    Re: Suggest a place that can make some developing tubes

    Not sure if I understand exactly so sorry if I'm off base with this. I wanted some 4x5 tubes that held a bit more developer than the BTZS tubes handled so I made up some with ABS. Here's the thread for the earlier post.

    https://www.largeformatphotography.i...48#post1384248

    Good luck
    Dave

  9. #9

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    Re: Suggest a place that can make some developing tubes

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R View Post
    In advance, yes, I know this is ridiculous etc. Now that that’s over with...

    I’d like to try a variation on tubes-rolling-in-trays processing. Part of this involves a simple tube design I’ve thought about for a long time - picture a regular open tube but slightly barrel shaped (bowed out) instead of straight.

    Since this would not be a daylight process (I don’t care if I’m in the dark), I’ve thought of a few ways of making (more like cobbling together) these myself. However that limits me in a few ways, including materials, so I’m wondering if I can outsource it.

    Can anybody recommend a good machine/fabrication shop that could make something like this, either out of a plastic, or perhaps stainless? I have a few places so far, but really I have zero experience with this sort of thing.

    Thanks
    Find a store like TAP Plastics.
    https://www.tapplastics.com/about/locations
    I'm sure there's got to be something similar in Canada.
    They can do amazing things with acrylic and were reasonably priced the last time I looked.
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  10. #10
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    Re: Suggest a place that can make some developing tubes

    Like Dave mentioned, it's easy (and inexpensive) to make your own tubes from ABS pipe, caps and adapters from the hardware store.
    I bought 4x5 tubes from BTZS several years ago and have been happy with them, but did not want to spend the money for tubes to handle 5x7 and 8x10 once I made the move to those formats.
    One advantage to straight tubes is that the developer will tend to flow evenly across the surface of the entire sheet as the tube is rotated in the water tray. If you have a barrel-shaped tube, the developer may tend to pool in the center of the tube during rotation due to centrifugal force, possibly affecting the even development of the sheet.

    Click image for larger version. 

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